What Not to Flush

Slide 6 - what not to flush

Don’t Flush Trash

The only thing that should be flushed down the toilet, other than human bodily waste, is toilet paper. Other items, such as feminine hygiene products, wrappers, baby wipes and Swiffers can cause backups in sewer mains and laterals and damage sewer pumps.

Toilets are only meant for one activity, and you know what we’re talking about! When the wrong thing is flushed, results can include costly backups on your own property or problems at your local wastewater treatment plant. That’s why it’s so important to treat toilets properly and flush only your personal contributions to the local wastewater treatment plant.

Don’t flush any items like:

    • Baby wipes and diapers
    • Flushable wipes

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  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Rags and towels
  • Cotton swabs
  • Syringes
  • Candy and/or food wrappers
  • Clothing labels
  • Cleaning sponges
  • Toys
  • Plastic items of any description
  • Aquarium gravel or kitty litter
  • Rubber items such as latex gloves
  • Cigarette butts
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Hair
  • Underwear
  • Disposable toilet brushes.

Don’t Put Grease Down the Drain

greaseResidents should not allow excessive amounts of grease to enter sink drains and/or garbage disposals. Grease is a major cause of sewer blockages and sanitary sewer overflows.

The following information is provided in order to help educate the public on the problems and costs associated with the improper disposal of fats, oils and grease (FOG). It is a goal of the SVSD to reduce the number of sanitary sewer overflows that are caused by FOG.

Disposing of used cooking oil and grease down a sink drain can be costly both to the homeowner as well as the SVSD. Grease disposed of in sinks and drains can cause sewer line clogs and backups into homes and businesses, sewage overflowing into the streets and waterways, and adverse impacts to public health and the environment.

When FOG is disposed of into sewer lines in any amount, it can seriously degrade the sewer collection system’s ability to move wastewater. Grease accumulates directly on sewer pipe walls, thus decreasing the carrying capacity of the pipe. As a result, SVSD crews must increase the frequency of sewer line cleaning, maintenance, and replacement. FOG is difficult to process at wastewater treatment facilities. Ultimately, these issues can translate into higher operating and maintenance expenses, which can impact your sewer rates. Homeowners can also suffer the expense of having to pay a plumber to respond to a clogged sinks, drains and private sewer lines.

The solution to FOG problems begins in your home and with your actions. Here are a few tips you can use to keep FOG out of the sewer system:

  • Never pour oil or grease down sink drains or toilets.
  • Scrape food scraps from plates, pots, pans, utensils, grills and cooking surfaces into the trash.
  • Pour oil and grease into containers such as an empty jar or coffee can. Once the material has cooled and solidified, secure the lid and place it in the trash.
  • Don’t pour grease down garbage disposals. Put baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids, and empty the drain baskets/strainers into the trash.
  • Tell your family, friends and neighbors about problems associated with grease in the sewer system and how to keep it out.

Don’t Flush Old Prescription Drugs

Please see this informative pamphlet put together by the Water Environment Federation for more information.
Drug-Free Drains

What Do I Do with Old Prescription Drugs

The Salt Lake Valley Health Department has put together a list of locations to take old prescription drugs.
Prescription Medication Disposal

For more information about the proper disposal of FOG and how these materials affect your environment and community, please call SVSD/JBWRF (385) 202-2777.